Locusts are the world’s oldest and most destructive migratory pest.
And today, the locust infestation in Kenya is the worst in 70 years. Somalia and Ethiopia are experiencing their worst outbreaks in 25 years, putting crop production, food security and millions of lives at risk. Swarms crossed into Uganda overnight, and Tanzania and South Sudan are now “on the watch list”, the UN’s top humanitarian official reported.
An average swarm, which contains up to 40 million insects, can travel up to 150 km in a single day and can devour enough food to feed 34 million people within that time.
Somalia and Sudan faced a famine threat in 2017, and communities have also weathered poor rains, drought, and floods in the past two years.
The current infestation is threatening food security in Kenya and other African countries, according to the country’s UN Ambassador, Lazarus O. Amayo. “It is also a challenge for pasture, especially our communities that keep livestock,” he added.
“Without rapid action, we will be facing a rapidly-expanding humanitarian crisis. The Desert Locust swarms are growing exponentially”, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu warned in a video message. More on the subject